CTO activates relief fund for Bahamas

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Uprooted trees, fallen power lines and debris scattered on road as Hurricane Dorian sweeps through Bahamas. (Photo: Reuters)

(CMC) — The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) today said it had activated its Hurricane Relief Fund which has been established to help countries rebuild after disasters as it expressed “deepest regret and sadness” over the loss of life and damage done to the Bahamas by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian.

Bahamas relies heavily on tourism for its foreign exchange and revenue and the storm, which began lashing the country since Sunday, has so far been blamed for five deaths and destruction to a number of buildings mainly on Abacos and Grand Bahama Island.

“In the wake of this monstrous storm, we have witnessed the pain of those who lost loved ones, the agony of so many who lost their homes and all their belongings, and the angst of an entire Caribbean concerned for the welfare of the people of these islands,” the CTO said in a statement.

It said however, as has been demonstrated so many times in the past, “We have weathered many storms, we are a resilient people who refuse to surrender even in the most difficult of times, and we are confident that the people of the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, with the full support of the Islands of the Bahamas and the Caribbean tourism family, will navigate the road to recovery together and emerge stronger.

“With the Bahamas being an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays spread over 100,000 square miles, the greatest impact of Hurricane Dorian is being felt in the northernmost islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama, while most of the nation has been mostly unaffected,” CTO said, announcing the activation of its relief fund “which has been established to help our people and countries rebuild after disasters”.